21 August 2021

Matt Gray hails Sutton character after Scunthorpe draw

21 August 2021

Sutton boss Matt Gray hailed his side’s character as they came from behind to claim a draw at Scunthorpe

A 51st-minute overhead kick from Jake Scrimshaw gave the Iron the lead against the run of play, though Donovan Wilson secured a point for the visitors six minutes from time.

While the wait for a first EFL victory goes on for the Us, a return of two points from three away games to start the campaign has pleased their manager.

Gray said: “With the chances we had at the death, we’re probably disappointed we didn’t come away with all three points, but a draw was probably a fair result in all fairness.

“It was a very open first half, both teams had chances, but I was really disappointed with our start to the second half – the goal we conceded was very uncharacteristic.

“The two centre-halves go up for a free-kick and we take it short and get caught on the counter. We shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position – there was no reason for us to mix it up and play a way we haven’t done before.

“But one thing we know about this group is that they’ve got huge character and desire and they never give up.

“I thought we rallied and looked stronger and stronger as the half went on. We got a deserved equaliser and could have gone on and won it.

“To have a couple of points on the board from three away games, I’m really happy. Any point on the road is a great point.”

Scrimshaw’s goal capped a whirlwind 24 hours for the Bournemouth striker, who had only originally been named on the bench following a seven-hour drive up from the south coast to complete a season-long loan deal.

However, he was drafted into the starting XI when Harry Bunn was injured during the warm-up.

He was involved in much of the Iron’s better play going forward, but it was Sutton who possessed more of a goal threat – emphasised by Wilson’s late equaliser, when he got in front of his man to meet a left-wing cross from substitute Enzio Boldewijn.

The Us twice went close to claiming a winner in seven minutes of stoppage time, with Wilson blazing over from the edge of the box and skipper Craig Eastmond scuffing agonisingly wide.

“I didn’t think we played very well, but there was nothing really in it the first half,” Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox said.

“I had a word with the boys at half-time about us trying to be more positive in the second half and after taking a one-goal lead we should have seen the game out.

“Sutton changed it and were braver because we were organised and knew what to do, but we didn’t defend well enough for the goal and, in the end, we were probably lucky not to lose it.

“But that’s three games unbeaten for us now, and we move on to the next game.”

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